The work started in September 2014 and consisted of the central eight wickets on the square being dug out to a considerable depth to remove sub standard material that was not allowing any real root growth or water penetration. Historically this was due to the fact the ground had been the old ash tip for Mutual Mills.
The area was then reconstructed with a gravel base to aid drainage, good quality top soil and the appropriate loam and seed. Meanwhile the outfield at both ends of the ground benefited from the addition of sand groove drainage.
Unfortunately in October/November the weather played a part and the surface of the new square effectively sealed and water was not getting through. Due to the fact the area was very soft no machinery could be driven on and it was not until the frosts in December and the New Year that the contractor was able to get on and deeply spike the area to allow drainage.
Whilst there has been some warm weather in spring the past couple of weeks have cooled down and there has not been as much grass growth on the square as was expected. This has improved significantly in the last week or so and will continue to do so as the weather improves.
The contractors have visited the site 3 times in the last week to carry out further work at very short notice. They returned on Bank Holiday Monday to spike the area again and this has made a significant difference and the area is now draining very well again.
Whilst it was known that the central area would not be played on in 2015 it was obviously hoped that the work would not impact on the fixtures in the way it has done so far. The ground committee are working harder than ever to ensure that cricket is played although it should be noted that Heywood were not the only team not to play on Sunday.
The ground committee hope that members will be patient through this process and we are sure that the long term benefits to the club will far outweigh the recent frustrations. The work will ensure Crimble has cricket wickets that our players can develop and improve on and that will increase the quality of cricket played on the ground.
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